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Breach Of Contract? Need Ammo for Idaho unemployment claim! Idaho

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  • Breach Of Contract? Need Ammo for Idaho unemployment claim! Idaho

    Hello, new to the forum, and I am in dire need of some advice!

    Here is my story:

    I was hired as a salesman for a local brand name car lot here in Boise, ID. I have a background in the automotive field, did well in the sales dept., and after 2 months was offered a promotion to "Used car manager". This position entailed purchasing late model used vehicles through online and live auto auctions, recon / cleaning of the vehicles, appraisals and lot maintenance. This was basically a dream job for me, and a large increase in pay. I signed a contract, as did the general manager of the car lot, for a 90 day trial period, with a set rate of pay for each month, and a review at the end of the 90 days. I spent the first 2 weeks learning the complicated software used for appraising / buying vehicles, the lot layout, the recon processes, etc. 3 days into the 3rd week, I was called into the Gm's office, where he told me I was not getting the position fast enough, and he didn't have time for me to learn it. I was being demoted back to sales-person, and I could take it or leave it. I asked if he could tell all this in a 2 week period, in which I hadn't even really gotten a chance to do the job yet, and he said yes. I asked about the contract, he said it was "his mistake", and I should take a few days off to decide whether or not I want to work there anymore. During that time, I found out I was demoted so he could hire his friend who had recently come available, and was at one time in the same position I was. I decided I didn't feel comfortable working for a dis-honest outfit, and returned to speak with the GM. I told him I felt what happened to me was unfair, and he basically said, too bad. I told I would find work elsewhere if that was the case. He said it was, and we parted ways.

    Because I feel I was unfairly treated, I filed for unemployment. Of course the GM said I quit because I was going to do something else, and I am currently in the middle of an unemployment claim with the state. The unemployment office has a hang up on the fact that I did not take the demotion to stay unemployed, and I have told them I left b/c of the breach of contract, and an untrustworthy work environment.

    I need to call the labor board back in the next few days for my final statement, and would like some ammo to use in my appeal. Are there any suggestions anyone has for things I should say / bring up? Unfair practices, breach of contract, etc.? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Also, I will scan my contract and post it up for review. Thank you very much!

  • #2
    You DID quit and you WERE offered continued employment. If there was an enforceable contract, your recourse was, upon advice of an attorney, to sue for the breach. Quitting because of the "dishonesty" of the employer and because you "didn't trust him" was not a reason the state considered valid to quit and received benefits. I can see their point.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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    • #3
      So Suing them would be a good plan of action? Would small claims court be an option? I was to receive 3k per month for 3 months. I received one paycheck, and was then demoted. Small claims would allow a maximum of 5k to sue for, would it be worth it? Do I have a case?

      Comment


      • #4
        Get a consultation from an attorney in your state, who can read the agreement in its entirety and advise you on your best course of action.
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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        • #5
          As Patty says, see an attorney to assess your chances. But, I'd advise you not to be too optimistic. You apparently had gone 2 and 1/2 weeks being paid for this job without showing any production at all. I rather doubt that your contract provided that you would be paid for the 3 months whether or not you were successful at any aspect of the job. By your post, you obviously feel that the 2 1/2 weeks was a reasonable period of time. They could build a case that it should have been more than adequate if you were qualified for the job. Which is correct in this case - I don't know.

          But, in assessing your chances to win a suit against you, that is what you should look at in reviewing the terms of the contract.
          Please post questions on the forum rather than sending me a private message or email. That way others who have similar issues have access to the discussion.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Scott67 View Post
            By your post, you obviously feel that the 2 1/2 weeks was a reasonable period of time.
            I actually feel that the 2.5 weeks was an unreasonable amount of time. I trained at an affiliated dealership for 1 week, then learned the ropes at the actual lot I was working at for the other week. I had 3 or so days to actually do the job before I was demoted, which was not based on performance, but due to the fact the gm wanted to hire his friend.

            Here is a scan of the signed contract:



            So should I just let things be and move on, or stand up for myself in what I think is an unjust situation? Being out of work for around half a month now, I obviously don't have hundreds of dollars to throw at a lawyer to work for me, which is why small claims seems like a viable option. If I don't have more than a 50 / 50 chance of winning though, I wont bother....

            If a contract like this is not enforceable in any way, whats the point of having one? The big guy does what he wants while the lowly employee takes whats thrown at him? Doesn't seem fair...
            Last edited by Rocketcoffin; 05-13-2010, 05:36 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              My opinion is that this falls far short of what is required for an enforceable contract - very, very far. I'm actually surprised that you consider it a contract. But, the limited information that is there does not even imply that your job is guaranteed to last for 90 days or for any other period for that matter. So, I do not see breach of contract for firing you for any reason.

              If you are correct, that he fired you to make a place for a friend, there is nothing illegal about that.

              For UI, you did resign, so your chances of winning that on appeal are not good at all.

              Your best bet is to spend all available time trying to find other employment. And, a word of advise that you probably won't like, you should get used to being flexible no matter how much you are unhappy with management. Never get mad and quit a job until you have another lined up, no matter how unfair you think they are being to you.
              Please post questions on the forum rather than sending me a private message or email. That way others who have similar issues have access to the discussion.

              Comment


              • #8
                I agree on all counts, and have secured a job that I believe will start June first. I have taken more abuse and foul treatment from so called managers more times than I care to admit, this however was un-bearable. I guess I have more self respect (foolish pride?) than most working stiffs.

                I am aware demoting someone to hire a friend is not in any way illegal, just an example of bad management - I referred to this to illustrate it was not because of poor performance.

                If a signed agreement between 2 people is not a contract, what is? What could I call this signed document I have - a pay, Duties and 90 day review agreement?

                Perhaps I am just S-O-L then. Maybe what I thought was ridiculously un-fair and bad form was just standard practice....

                Comment


                • #9
                  There really doesn't seem to be anything in the "form" that you signed guaranteeing 90 days of employment that you could try to enforce as a contract.

                  You're certainly welcome to have a lawyer review it or sue in small claims court but as stated previously don't be too optimistic - your chances of winning don't look good at all. I would just move on but that's my opinion.
                  Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                  Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think that's what I'll do. Thanks for the advice from everybody.

                    If I am ever in this situation again, I will ask for a more clarified contract with a defined and guaranteed trial period, instead of a vague outline.

                    Thanks again!

                    - R.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You're welcome - good luck to you in the future.
                      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                      Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Rocketcoffin View Post
                        If a signed agreement between 2 people is not a contract, what is? What could I call this signed document I have - a pay, Duties and 90 day review agreement?
                        For your first question, the short answer is that there is not enough information in the document for a reasonable person to be able to interpret what is being agreed to. For a longer answer I recommend that you do some reading about contracts. If you don't want to buy a book, there are a number of websites that have information that explore different sides of the issue.

                        As far as what to call the document that you have, I'm not really sure. Even a position description, which is used to memorialize a person's responsibilities in many companies, has much more detail then you have in your document. But, to give it a name, position description is probably as good as anything.

                        I'm happy to hear that you have another job starting soon and that you are just putting this behind you and moving on.
                        Please post questions on the forum rather than sending me a private message or email. That way others who have similar issues have access to the discussion.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I would call what you signed an offer letter. It states the terms that you agreed on to take the position.

                          It doesn't state you can't be termed prior to 90 days, just that at 90 days you will be reviewed.

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                          • #14
                            Agree, that's why I called it a "form" - didn't really see it as an enforceable "contract." Offer letter is good.
                            Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                            Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              We issue offer letters to every new employee. However ours are much more detailed and include phrasing about employee at will and not a contract.

                              Sometimes paying a lawyer to review a form is worth it in the end.

                              Comment

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